Edwin Huizinga - Artistic Director An accomplished violinist, a fiddler, a composer, and an improviser, Edwin has a busy international schedule performing with the folk and baroque duo Fire & Grace and internationally-acclaimed early music, 12-piece baroque band ACRONYM.
His commissions include a world premiere at the Palace of Versailles and a solo work for baroque violin, Inception. He has performed with orchestras and ensembles worldwide including Amsterdam Conservatory Baroque Orchestra and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Edwin, who has performed numerous times at SweetWater, and was a featured performer at SweetWater 2019. He became SweetWater Artistic Director on October 1, 2019.
Paul Eichhorn - SweetWater Manager Paul, who joined SweetWater in 2016, has over two decades of experience in the arts and culture not-for-profit sector as well as an extensive background in arts administration, event production, marketing and promotions, and fundraising. Locally, he has provided his expertise to the Billy Bishop Home & Museum as well as the City of Owen Sound as Project Coordinator of the successful Tall Ships Owen Sound event. He has sat on numerous arts, culture, and public committees and boards in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Grey County and is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Paul has also has written for several national publications including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and Take One Magazine. In recent years, he hosted and co-produced programs on Rogers TV focusing on history and politics.
Lynda Montgomery, Chair – Lynda has been involved with many local arts and culture organizations over the years. Along with sitting on the SweetWater Board, she is the Chair of the Fundraising Committee and coordinates Artist Accommodations for the annual festival. She was one of the original SweetWater Board members (4 years), acted as SweetWater volunteer after her Board term, and was past board member and president of the Georgian Bay Symphony. She also helped to establish and run the Bluewater Youth Orchestra. Over the years, Lynda has served on several chiropractic boards in various capacities and sat on the Ontario Review Board for mental health.
Charlotte MacFarlane, Director-at-Large - Charlotte has a background in municipal policy development and analysis at local and provincial association levels. Her works over the years has included health planning, management training for national mental health, and community planning and development. On the music side, she studied voice through Grade 9 RCM, and has been a song leader, soloist, and member of church and community choirs. Charlotte supported the Timmins Symphony Orchestra children’s camps and events, and was a volunteer and member of the Porcupine Music Festival’s Executive. Since moving to Owen Sound in late summer 2018, Charlotte joined the Threshold Singers, who provide comforting music at the bedsides of residents of a local palliative facility. She's also swaying and feeling the joy of music in Coco Love Alcorn’s newly-formed Wonderland Singers.
Vivian McCaffrey, Director-at-Large - Recently relocated to the Owen Sound area from Toronto, Vivian , now retired, spent her professional career employed by a teachers’ union focusing on government relations, political action, and political action training. Much of her work
involved policy development and issues management. She was delighted to discover the rich arts scene in Owen Sound and surrounding area. After attending Sweetwater for the first time in 2019, she became totally enthralled by the brilliance of the musicians and excellence of the festival program. Viviane grew up in a household where either classical music or jazz played constantly on our stereo system. She studied piano and violin and joined the Ottawa Youth Orchestra during her high school years. She appreciates that the success of organizations such as Sweetwater depends on the blood, sweat and tears of its volunteers and is happy to contribute to the future success and longevity of the organization.
Jill Willington, Treasurer/Vice-Chair - Jill had a long career as a Certified Public Accountant working for several private and not-for-profit organizations. Along with her professional experience, she has sat on many not-for-profit boards including Music Alive and the Federation of Women Teachers' Association of Ontario. Jill came to Grey County at age 11 and has lived in Owen Sound, Thornbury and currently resides in Clarksburg. She is now retired from her accounting career but enjoys pursuing other interests including a great interest in music and playing cello.
Colleen Purdon, Past Chair - Colleen has worked for over 35 years as a therapist, researcher, consultant and administrator to further equality, opportunities and safety for rural women and their children She studied music at Queen’s University and completed a diploma in Music Therapy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London England. She was the Coordinator of the Violence Prevention Grey Bruce for 20 years and worked with the Building a Bigger Wave provincial network to coordinate violence against women strategies across the province. Colleen was a city councillor in Owen Sound from 2011 to 2014. She joined the Board in 2015 and served as Vice-Chair until she became Chair in 2016.
Adrian Hussey, Director-at-Large - Adrian had a long career as a financial professional working in both the private and public sectors and most recently serving as a Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer for an Ontario Pension Fund and Endowment Fund. He moved to Owen Sound in 2017 and was delighted to discover the high quality of the SweetWater Music festival. Since moving to Owen Sound, Adrian has also joined the board of NeighbourWoods North. When his children were young, he served as a board member and then chairman of the board of Junction Daycare.
Michael Allder, Director-at-Large - Michael has spent much of professional life working as a producer and director of featur-length documentaries and TV current affairs programs. He spent over 14 years at the CBC, which included producing The Nature of Things. He was also a staff producer at the NFB overseeing documentaries including In the Key of Oscar, a film portrait of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Earlier CBC work included The Soul of a Song (about the enduring power of gospel music) and he directed and produced a musical special profiling jazz singers Ranee Lee and Karen Young. Michael also has wide-ranging experience as a speaker, workshop leader, panel moderator, and served on the organizing committee of the World Congress of Science Producers. He and his wife Gail recently hosted a Garden Concert during SweetWater Surreal at their property just outside of Annan.
Michael notes SweetWater has brought such distinctive cultural magic to Grey Bruce and far beyond, and he considers it pleasure and privilege to join the SweetWater team.
Jackie Mersich, Secretary – Jackie began her long interest in music while studying trumpet and piano while growing up Manitoba. Playing in community orchestras and ensembles was a major influence in developing a strong interest in the arts and music. In more recent years, she has continued her involvement with music by participating in the Georgian Bay Symphony, the Georgian Bay Brass quintet, and the Georgian Bay Concert Choir. This also led to her sitting on the boards of the Georgian Bay Symphony, Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras, the Georgian Bay Children's Choir, and the Georgian Bay Concert Choir.
Michael Vair-Haley, Director-at-Large - Mike was raised in Owen Sound and, like many others, went off into the wide world as a boy only to come back to his roots as an adult with a few interesting experiences under his belt. He started playing music casually with friends while living in East Asia but more so made a name for himself organizing live music events and booking tours for musicians in Taiwan. This eventually evolved into founding and directing a city wide multi-venue music and arts festival. Today Mike is living in Owen Sound close to family for the warmer months and plans to travel back to Taiwan to continue his passion for bringing great live music to the people of that beautiful island
Mary Gray, Director-at-Large - Mary has a background in education and development in the not for profit sector. Her work over the years has included teaching, technology management and training, alumni relations and development. On the music side, she is a longtime member of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto and currently sits on the Amadeus board. Mary has been active in the Owen Sound area attending local arts and culture events and enjoying her family's beautiful farm property in Leith for over 30 years. Mary attended the first few years of the SweetWater Festival and is pleased to become more involved in this vibrant arts community.